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Teachers at a Do Not Apply School take to the street

March 12, 2009 am31 3:54 am

Enough is enough.

One of the most abusive principals in the Bronx pushed and pushed. She mistreated, berated, threatened belittled. For too long, years now, she has destroyed careers, beaten teachers down, driven young people with potential out of the profession.

For the last few years, teachers have left Fordham HS for the Arts at the end of the year. To transfer elsewhere. To leave teaching. Just to get away. Those left behind coped, and plotted their own escapes.

Raqnel James was not the first teacher Blige sent to the rubber room, but this time it is different. The teachers stood up, silently, when they all wore black earlier this year. And now? Rally.

Jobs threatened. Tenure threatened. The choice is to take it and try to survive the year, which would be quite understandable, or fight, which is nothing short of inspirational.

Friday, March 13, 2009
4 – 5 PM
In front of Fordham HS for the Arts
(f/k/a Theodore Roosevelt HS)
500 East Fordham Road
the Bronx

(more details on FhsArts and Blige, later)

11 Comments leave one →
  1. March 15, 2009 am31 5:56 am 5:56 am

    This rally felt like redemption for those of us who have suffered under the leadership at Fordham High School for the Arts.

    Iris Blige is a Principal who hides behind tyranny and abuse to disguise her incompetence. Having never taught, she is unable to translate what she understands as sound educational practice into leadership. When I first met her, I asked about her teaching background. She gave the vague response, “ I worked in special education.” During the first days of school, she took the lead in a professional development workshop for which she allocated 45 minutes for the presentation. She finished in 10 minutes and set the faculty to work on the application. Everyone gazed at each other confused because they did not understand the task. I immediately realized this woman never taught a day in her life.

    As a result of Iris Blige’s educational ignorance, she is ineffective as a principal, and is unable to complete the most basic supervisory task of evaluating teachers through the observation process. Whenever she does an observation, she brings with her an AP who does the write-up for her. Afraid to be known, she is paranoid of anyone who is going to pull her cover and reveal her ineptitude. This paranoia is evidenced by the tenured faculty who have faced false accusations to the untenured teachers who have been arbitrarily given u ratings and denied tenure.

    It is odious that the DOE has allowed such ineffectiveness to become the career-ender for so many promising young teachers. Competent principals would be able to recognize talent and effectively develop that talent into mastery. Unfortunately for many untenured teachers, that opportunity has been robbed from them.

    Hopefully this rally, serving as an expression of our first amendment rights, will bring to light the abuses of this dictatorial style of leadership. Our country was founded on the idea of that we all share basic rights; let’s hope these rights can be restored at Fordham High School for the Arts and the other schools who suffer under tyranny.

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  1. NY Chancellor Klein’s abusive principals. « Fred Klonsky’s blog
  2. We are not afraid « JD2718
  3. Video of Rally at Fordham HS for the Arts « JD2718
  4. Rally at Fordham Arts - the Bronx UFT Video « JD2718
  5. Speech from Fordham Rally « JD2718
  6. Ruining careers for $475/month (18 month term) « JD2718
  7. Abusive Administrator – a Case Study in the Bronx « New Action – UFT
  8. Raqnel James – Not Guilty! « JD2718

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